I received my second review on Friday – it came in lower than last time. Sure, still top 30%, but no longer top bucket. I’d summarize my initial reaction as “disappointed, but not surprised.”

Disappointed – because I have contributed more than any other analyst. Perhaps not in the past 6 months, but over the course of my 2 years. I think people are aware of this. I’m also disappointed because I feel that my potential, as equal parts talent and work ethic, is unequaled in my class and should be recognized.

Not surprised – because of several factors that weighed on my rating. First, my studies gave me few opportunities to address previous feedback given my distance from clients. Also, I had worked on only two studies in the past year, meaning that if any of them went poorly, I would struggle to recover. One of them did in fact go quite poorly, driven in part by my negative upward feedback.

I may have surprised my supporters with the news that I was leaving the Firm. My advocate insisted that it had no impact, but I’d be shocked if it didn’t. My top bucket rating in the fall was based on my work with teams at Gates and Corning. These exact same teams formed the core of my spring review as well (since I hadn’t worked on anything new). It’s a bit suspicious that the same teams were interviewed about me, but the overall review was suddenly different.

Now my lack of surprise isn’t to say that I feel that I couldn’t have done anything about the outcome. I accept the responsibility for this outcome and having thought about this nonstop since yesterday, I will take away several lessons –

  • Shouldn’t have told ADJ about my plans to go to finance. He may have communicated it to my DGL as part of a larger story of why I wasn’t completely committed to consulting
  • Should have told DGL earlier about leaving – he didn’t need to find out about it from other people. I also should have thought about leaving earlier
  • Shouldn’t have given negative upward feedback to ADS, particularly when it wasn’t well-given. I also shouldn’t have agreed to do an extension there.
  • I shouldn’t have met DB. I don’t think he supported me, given that he had never reached out to me before. He probably took the wrong impression away from our face-to-face meeting.

Good lessons all. Before I sign off on this post, there’s an emotional component to this situation that I have to recognize – I’m ticked off! And in my ticked off state, I’ve dreamed up a bunch of actions and responses – writing DB to “clarify my rating”, or confronting “AS” since Gates was really the key that turned the lock here, or taking shots and settling scores in my goodbye email. But I have to have a strategy for the impression of me that I want to convey. Also important is a mindset that I will do things because they will have real impact and not just to make myself feel better (Harvey Dent-style).

I think nothing would change due to actions I could take right now.. relationships would just be muddied. Perhaps I might feel better.. but at the end of it all (or at least my BA tenure), I think the best answer is that I should just smile and ride off into the sunset. And this rating ultimately was exactly the kick in the pants I needed on my way out the door.

(Update: feeling much better about this 2 weeks after the fact and glad that I kept relationships intact. Feeling like the people I work with view me no less competent because of this so ultimately, no real impact from this since comp was decided in the fall, there’s nothing I can do other than take lessons because it was in the past, it’s understandable and I will take it as motivation going forward.)


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